Curtains close: Kirby family sell Sorrento cinemas

It is the end of an era in cinema ownership circles, with Village Roadshow founders and owners the Kirby family disposing of two picture theatres, including a historic ex-hall in Sorrento which it controlled for more than 70 years.
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The dynasty is understood to be banking more than $10 million for the assets, occupied long-term by the entertainment giant, and offered to investors with leasebacks of 10 years with options.

About 91 kilometres south of the CBD, the Sorrento complex at 26-36 Ocean Beach Road was built by Isaac Bensilum in 1894 as the Athenaeum Hall, where it hosted artists performing while on holidays.

On a 1120 square-metre block, the asset with three show screens was offered as an investment returning starting annual rent of $235,186.

A little closer to town in Rosebud, also on the Mornington Peninsula, a five-screen cinema capable of accommodating almost 800 moviegoers, has also found a buyer. Some 75 kilometres from the CBD, on a 2800 square-metre plot at 30 Rosebud Parade, behind a row of shops on Nepean Highway, this asset returns a net yearly income of $278,805.

CBRE’s Rorey James, Justin Dowers, Kevin Tong and Nic Hage marketed the sites.

In September, it was reported Village Roadshow would bank about $100 million selling (on a leaseback) Gold Coast theme parks: Warner Bros Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild Gold Coast, Paradise Country and Village Roadshow Studios.

YCH lists another ex-hostel

Yarra Community Housing is offloading another prime inner-city holding, this time in Fitzroy North.

The 11-bedroom former hostel at 5 Michael Street is expected to sell for between $2.5 million and $2.75 million following a campaign by Jellis Craig’s Bev Adams and Peter Batrouney.

Marketed as a grand renovation rescue prospect, in a prestige location, the wide Victorian occupies a 356 square-metre plot near the Queens Parade shopping village.

Earlier this year an investor who in 2015 paid YCH $4.8 million for another historic double-storey at 34-36 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, applied to build a 10-storey, 72-unit apartment complex, behind the facade.

Donvale investor keeps $9m in the neighbourhood

A Donvale resident who inspected an investment property in his suburb 48 hours before an auction scheduled yesterday outmuscled four serious groups to snare it for $8.95 million.

The 4800 square-metre landholding at 77-79 Mitcham Road, configured with a 7-Eleven service station and a car wash, returns annual rent of $382,547 and is changing hands on a 4.27 per cent yield.

With 73 metres frontage to the road where an estimated 23,000 cars a day pass, and less than a kilometre from the Eastlink motorway, the property also was marketed for its medium-term redevelopment potential.

CVA managing director Ian Angelico sold the site before a large crowd for $400,000 over reserve.

Developers circling Pompei’s famous boat shed

The historic Mordialloc property known as Pompei’s Boat Shed – for years operated by late angler and boat builder, Jack Pompei OAM, is said to be in post-auction negotiations with a handful of the developers who watched it pass in last week.

The spectacularly located 973 square-metre holding, abutting council land and the Mordialloc Creek, was listed last month with vacant possession – ending a family association with the site which began in the 1930s.

Jack became a custodian of the Mordialloc Creek, once joking it was so clean fish would develop tears in their eyes as they swam it.

It was from this workshop that the angler, who couldn’t swim, set out to rescue hundreds of distressed Port Phillip Bay users (when Victoria’s Water Police was established in the 1970s, Jack was made an honorary member).

The property is opposite a statue and bridge named after the local celebrity.

The boat business, now run by Jack’s family, has agreed to sign a short-term leaseback on the building upon any sale.

The campaign for 557-561 Main Street, run by Teska Carson’s George Takis and Michael Taylor, was said to have piqued the interest of numerous developers. It is expected to sell for more than $3 million and make way for a three-level building, likely with shop-top apartments.

Mattioli Group offloads Balwyn office for $7.6m

Another office investment in a blue-ribbon Melbourne suburb is selling on a low yield.

In Balwyn, the Mattioli Group is banking $7.55 million from the sale of a new four-level complex on the corner of Balwyn and Belmore roads. At the edge of a retail strip, the 838 square-metre building is configured with three shops on ground level and basement car parking.

Based on the building’s annual rental return of just under $350,000, it is changing hands on a 4.4 per cent yield.

Vinci Carbone director Frank Vinci said the asset still offers depreciation benefits. He said the campaign attracted a mix of more than 80 local and international private investors and syndicates.

The deal comes a week after the Bloom family, founders of the Portmans retail chain, sold a double-storey retail and office complex at 131-133 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, for $7.85 million, against a $6.5 million guide price.

In Hawthorn, local developer Benson Property Group has applied to build a five-level apartment complex on the site of a low-rise Burwood Road office which it bought for $10.5 million earlier this year.

Burgundy Plaza sells on 1.75% yield

A local Chinese syndicate fended off more than 25 groups, said to have included hardware giant Bunnings, to secure Heidelberg’s Burgundy Plaza at auction for $14.4 million.

The purchase price – $4 million over the reserve – puts the transaction’s yield at a low 1.75 per cent.

With 11 ground level shops and upstairs offices, the complex at 101-111 Burgundy Street sits on a 2520 square-metre Commercial 1 zoned site with a 31-bay car park.

On a corner block, the centre was marketed for its redevelopment potential – the agents suggesting the airspace could make way for an approximate 10-storey tower in the longer term.

CBRE marketing agent Mark Wizel said that to receive more than 25 offers totalling more than $220 million for a strata retail asset “with limited immediate development potential in a suburb with a median house price of only $760,000 four years ago suggests growing demand from buyers looking to secure landholdings with long-term future development underpinned by nearby employment options, retail and transport amenity”.

The site was marketed with colleagues Lewis Tong, Nathan Mufale and JJ Heng with Miles Real Estate’s Paul Evans and Tim Mitchell.

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Sir Reginald Ansett’s grazing property to fetch $40m

The last parcel of Sir Reginald Ansett’s former estate, a 22-hectare beachfront grazing property in Melbourne’s bayside Mount Eliza, has been put on the market with expectations around $40 million.
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Equity Trustees, which manages the R.M. Ansett Trust, will offload the large block of vacant land to free up funds for the trust, which donates to charities that run child-focused programs and scholarships.

Sir Reginald was best known for founding Ansett Airlines, which collapsed in 2001.

The land between Kunyung Road and Port Phillip Bay is next door to the 8.9-hectare former home of University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Business School.

The university sold the Business School, which features a historic waterfront mansion, to New Zealand’s Ryman Healthcare last year for nearly $40 million.

It was originally established as a country estate called Moondah by James Grice in 1888. Ryman plans to convert its grand 42-room mansion and numerous outbuildings into an aged care facility.

The trust’s 22.3-hectare block sits between Moondah and Sir Reginald’s original residence, an 11.7-hectare estate called Gunyong Valley, which the trust sold in 2006.

Gunyong was purchased by retirement village operator Charles “Chas” Jacobson for $14.5 million to turn into a holiday compound for his family.

A small portion of the trust’s land has direct access to Moondah beach, which adjoins Sunnyside Beach, a popular bathing site for nudists.

The area is covered by a green wedge zone that severely limits future development. It stretches across four titles between the coast, Kunyung Road and Albatross Avenue about 45 kilometres from Melbourne.

“Through this process we plan to release the value in the land and invest it back into the community,” Equity Trustees managing director Mick O’Brien said.

“The land is currently vacant and has been historically used for grazing.”

The expression-of-interest sale will be handled by professional services firm EY.

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100 million coffee cups needed to start recycling program

The takeaway cup holding your morning flat white could soon be turned into outdoor furniture, building materials, or food trays.
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Australians have recently been grappling with the fact at least one billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfill each year because the thin plastic lining often stops them from being recycled.

Stacked end-to-end, one billion coffee cups would stretch 120,000 kilometres, or three times around the world.

Environmental solutions company Closed Loop is hoping to ease the overwhelming waste problem by February, through its Simply Cups initiative, which aims to collect 100 million cups to start up a commercially viable recycling facility.

Since a public campaign in Sydney and Melbourne’s financial districts last year, Simply Cups has collected paper cups from large companies such as ANZ and Australia Post, from schools, universities, and office buildings like the Rialto building in Melbourne and Herbert Smith Freehills law firm in Sydney.

Now 7-Eleven has announced it will put Simply Cups recycling bins in 200 of its stores, at universities and construction sites from March next year, with the aim of recycling the 70 million cups its consumers use each year.

Simply Cups’ Rob Pascoe said the program had been collecting cups for four months, using them to trial a recycling method which separates the paper and plastic. It then turns the paper to valuable pulp, and the plastic to a form that can be used in other items.

The machinery will be running by February, and will process between four and six tonnes of cups a day at a plant in Adelaide, or in a mobile facility that will go interstate.

Mr Pascoe said people were still shocked to discover coffee cups cannot be recycled through council depots.

“I think people believed in paper cups, and it was one of the main reasons we changed from polystyrene cups about 10 years ago,” Mr Pascoe said.

“People were thinking ‘that’s great, they’re paper and they can be recycled’, but they can’t.”

Simply Cups also wants to put 100 million of its own cups into the market, with 1?? from every cup used to fund the recycling, and is encouraging other big businesses to sign up to their collection service.

It also supports the use of reusable cups, like KeepCup, which experienced a 403 per cent increase in online sales after the ABC’s War on Waste program aired.

Environmentalist Tim Silverwood, the co-founder of marine pollution action group Take 3, said there should be a greater focus on phasing out single use items.

“It’s things like plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic take-away containers. It’s just not on, in this day and age, to be producing items that we use for a couple of minutes that last on our planet forever.”

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Australia’s next tennis star admits she only plays for money

Australian open 2017 ,Women’s Singles – Round 1 Destanee Aiava (AUS) playing against Mona Barthel (GER) on show court 2. 16th January 2017 Fairfax Media The Age news Picture by Joe Armao
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Australia’s next tennis star Destanee Aiava has echoed controversial men’s player Bernard Tomic and bluntly admitted she only plays the game for money.

Aiava burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old at the Brisbane International earlier this year when she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a WTA main draw match.

The teenager kicked-on to make her first Australian Open and after playing in all the grand slam qualifiers she has risen more than 300 places in the rankings to a career-best world No. 147.

Aiava has long been touted a rising star in the women’s game and while her form is red-hot, she said spending more than 30 weeks a year on the road takes its toll.

Aiava is the only provider for her family and said after three years living out of a suitcase the sport isn’t as fun anymore, admitting she only still plays for the money.

“I was one of those kids where our house was like a cabin, so I’m kind of used to that poor lifestyle and I just want that lavish lifestyle,” Aiava said.

“Money is the motivation, obviously everyone wants a better lifestyle for their future and money definitely helps that a lot.

“I can’t lie anymore, I’m done with that, honesty is the best policy. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel and I just want it, as soon as I have enough money I’ll stop playing.”

Aiava said there was no shame in being honest about her motives and wanting to support her Samoan-born parents.

“I’m turning 18 next year and I want to get my own apartment so I can move out, but my parents are separated and I want to buy both of them a house as well,” Aiava said.

“They’ve been a huge help on my career and I wouldn’t be here without them, so I want to give back to them as much as possible.

“I’m motivated to supply for my family because I’m kind of the only provider right now, so there is a lot of expectations there, but yeah that’s kind of why I’m still playing.”

The 17-year-old is playing at the Canberra International this week, the same courts Nick Kyrgios forged his early career on, and Aiava pointed to the Australian men’s No. 1 as the inspiration for her honesty.

“Nick was the first to admit that tennis isn’t as people think it is and I’m just just kind of sick of hearing people say ‘oh you must enjoy the travelling and you must really love the sport’ because it’s completely different to how you perceive it,” Aiava said.

“When you’re playing you have all this pressure and expectations on you from everyone and it’s tough, so I just want to put it out there that it’s not as rosy as it seems.”

Aiava then followed Kyrgios down another path and admitted tennis was not her favourite sport, instead pointing to another round ball game.

“I love watching basketball, I can’t play to save my life but since it’s a team sport and they’re surrounded by that team environment I find it really relaxing to watch,” Aiava said.

Aiava cruised past Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in Canberra to book her place in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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Flanagan eyeing off special win for Ruby

BIG NIGHT: Heddon Greta trainer Daniel Flanagan with Vic Peters Classic finalists Only Want Mum and Surfing Dyno. Picture: Simone De PeakTrainer Daniel Flanagan would bethrilled to have two runners in a group 1 final at any time.
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And itwould be a dream come true if Only Want Mum or Surfing Dyno wonthe Vic Peters Classic at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

But the Heddon Greta Hotel manageradmits it would be extra special if Only Want Mum was the one to salute.

Only Want Mum was named in memory of three-year-old Ruby-Rose Milton, who died in May 2015 froman aggressive childhood cancer known asneuroblastoma.

As a tribute to Ruby-Rose, Flanagan told her mother,Renae Macpherson, who worked as a waitress at Heddon Greta Hotel at the time, that he would name his next greyhound in her honour.

During her battle with cancer, Ruby-Rose would say to doctors and nurses coming to her aid that “I only want mum”.

Flanagan saidMacpherson, who has since moved interstate, was “over the moon” with the name and he had contacted her about Only Want Mum before its first start.

“When wewereat the funeral I said to her that we’re going to name the next dog after her,” Flanagan said.

“And she was the one that came along, so it’s good. She broke in OK but from the time she was born, she was named after her little girl.”

Ruby is the kennel name of Only Want Mum, which made the age-restriction $75,000-to-the-winner Vic Peters Classic final with a third from box six in first semi-final last Saturday night.

The dark brindle bitch, which has two wins from six starts, will jump from box five in the decider and was $21 with TAB Fixed Odds.

Surfing Dyno was second from box six in semi-final number two last week. The brindle dog drew box eight and was $41.

Flanagan expected Only Want Mum to run well in the semi-finals but was unsure how Surfing Dyno would perform.

“When they got the bad boxes, I just hoped for a bit of luck and they had a bit going their way, which is good,” he said.

He admitted to havinga soft spot for Only Want Mum but he also believed she was a genuine contender in the decider.

“Surfing Dyno is no star but he does OK,” he said.

“We just don’t know what he’s going to do from week to week, and he’s drawn out wide, which is probablynot ideal.

“Only Want Mumhas a massive motor and if she can get through and be left alone, I reckon she’s a big chance.”

Flanagan qualifiedExplosive Madame for the Vic Peters final two years ago and she finishedfifth from box one.

Shewas owned by theBord And Pillar Racing Syndicate, who also have interests in the two finalists this year.

“The guys who own the Explosive dogs, own Surfing Dyno and also half of Only Want Mum,” Flanagansaid.

“Dad and I own half of her as well.”

BekinStreet ($2.80),Shallay Pallay ($3.80) and Chasin Crackers ($3.40) were battling for Vic Peters Classicfavouritism on Friday.

Enjoying the charming heritage city of Ipswich

Rafter & Rose … tucked away in an Ipswich laneway and doing some great things for breakfast. I’d heard of Ipswich, of course.
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It was a mid-size city just south-west of Brisbane. Due to an efficient PR office, I also knew it had an international hotel trading under the Metro label. That was really all that I knew when I grabbed the opportunity to spend a few days there and in the surrounding countryside.

And I do mean ‘grabbed’, because I’ve come to realise that some of the most unlikely places can be gold mines for tourists willing to get a little off the standard pathways.

I quickly learnt that it was a richly historic city, indeed Queensland’s oldest provincial city, and that it has some magnificent old architecture ranging from fine public buildings through to some gorgeous examples of grand homes built in the traditional Queenslander architectural style.

The Workshops Rail Museum … features some beautiful restoration work.

It’s also famous as a railway town, and the magnificently restored Workshops Rail Museumis obviously one of the city’s absolute must-sees, a place where some 3000 railway workers clocked on each day and now absolutely jam-packed with relics of a bygone era.

Highlights include beautifully restored locomotives and carriages, the state’s biggest model railway and regular tours of the workshops. There are also lots of hands-on activities to keep children amused for hours.

Certainly worth a visit is the Ipswich Antiques Centre which is housed in a heritage-listed former church hall. It’s made up of many individual retailers, and filled to the brim with furniture, books, records, clothing and assorted bric-a-brac.

Stephen Arnold … providing a great way to see Ipswich and surrounds.

One of the best ways to take in the beauty and historic nature of Ipswich is from the back of a Harley trike driven by Stephen Arnold, who operates asIpswich Trike Toursand provides a range of touring experiences of the city and surrounds, including winery tours, Lake Wivenhoe tours and trips to hinterland highlights such as Tambourine Mountain.

Fourthchild … a culinary highlight of our visit to Ipswich.

And there are plenty of dining options in Ipswich — the Pumpyard Bar and Brewery, with a substantial range beers and excellent pizza, and the rich, Germanic-style fare at Heisenberg Haus. If you’re going to have the signature pork knuckle, sharing is probably a good thing. They’re huge.

For us, the highlights came on the form of beautifully prepared and presented modern fare at Fourthchild and a delightful breakfast at Rafter & Rose, which is tucked away, Melbourne-style, in a tiny laneway.

Presentation at Fourthchild is sublime.

And, oh yes, the Metro Ipswich International Hotel,which is basically where I started this story of visiting a Queensland city that was largely an unknown quantity for this scribe.

It’s a fine property, one whose quality and standards you wouldn’t normally expect in a place such as Ipswich.

Metro Ipswich International Hotel single room … plenty of work and living space.

Its mid-city location is spot one, the room amenities, including the king-size bed, tick all the boxes, and the staff are prepared to bend over backwards to help (to the point of keeping the kitchen and restaurant, Harvest, open beyond normal hours after our flight from Sydney was delayed).

Metro Ipswich International Hotel king-double … combines style with utility.

And the slow-cooked duck and lamb shank papperdelle were both excellent.

For general information about Ipswich, visit 梧桐夜网discoveripswich南京夜网419论坛.It really does live up to its tagline —‘Queensland’s beautiful heritage city’.

John Rozentals was a guest of the Metro International Hotel and Discover Ipswich.

Jelena is probably, certainly, almost definitely, back on

Make a strained reference to Rebecca Black’s Fridayand be optimistic about Australia’s medal chances at the London Olympics, because it is 2011 once again. How else could we explain the pictures of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez that have been surfacing this week?
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The on-again, off-again early 2010s couple appear to have – possibly; nothing is confirmed beyond an Us Weekly “insider” saying it’s a thing – reignited their romance. after being spotted attending church, riding bikes and even watching the hockey together this week.

The original relationship:

Bieber and Gomez began dating in 2010 when Gomez was 18 and Bieber was just 16.

Two years later, the couple, dubbed “Jelena”, moved in together. As a Disney starlet (Gomez was best known for her role on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place at the time) and teen pop heartthrob, Gomez and Bieber were routinely followed by the paparazzi.

The pair’s relationship was notoriously turbulent and the speculation surrounding whether they were together at any given point made for incredible tabloid fodder. They ultimately separated in 2014, after breaking up multiple times during their three-year relationship.

The post-mortem:

In 2015, both Bieber and Gomez relaunched their music careers (Bieber after multiple arrests and stints in rehab, Gomez after a health scare which would later be revealed as the singer undergoing chemotherapy treatment for lupus), and gave weirdly similar promotional interviews which dissected their relationship.

Gomez went first, telling Britain’s Sunday Times in August that the media pressure on the relationship became too much.

“There’s such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it’s good press,” she said. “Throw in the fact that you’re a teenager???????? – it makes it more difficult.”

A month later, Bieber told Complex magazine the relationship was bound to “disappoint” because of how heavily invested he and Gomez were in making it work, despite being so young.

“We were so in love. Nothing else mattered. We were all about each other. But when it’s like that and you get your value from that, people will always disappoint you,” Bieber said.

The resurrection:

By the start of this year, both Bieber and Gomez had appeared to move on.

Meanwhile, this year Gomez has been dating Canadian singer The Weeknd (not a typo, also obviously not his real name, which is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye).

But, with news Selena Gomez and The Weeknd ended things this week, a number of sightings have created a sense that Jelena, after years of keeping their distance, may be back on. Here’s the evidence.

– On October 29, the pair were spotted having breakfast together before attending a church service at Hillsong in Los Angeles.

– On November 1, Gomez and Bieber went on a very performative bike ride around Los Angeles. But, to complicate our analysis, what did Gomez wear to said bike ride? A highlighter blue jacket that had previously been spotted on The Weeknd. But if you thought that was the end of the outerwear analysis you would be incorrect because, later that day, Gomez watched Bieber play hockey in Los Angeles. As the pair left, she was wearing his New Jersey Devils jersey.

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House of Cards staff accuse Spacey of sexual assault and harassment

A production assistant who worked on Netflix hit House of Cards has accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him during one of the show’s early seasons, while other staff members have described the star’s behaviour on set as “predatory”.
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The explosive claims were made to CNN by eight people who worked on the series on condition of anonymity because they feared the professional repercussions of speaking out, CNN reports.

Among the new accusations against Spacey, which included claims of “non-consensual touching” and “crude comments”, were allegations from a production assistant who said Spacey put his hands down the assistant’s pants after he had driven the actor from an offsite location to the show’s Baltimore set. Later that same day, Spacey cornered him in his trailer and “made inappropriate contact” with him, the assistant said.

“I was in a state of shock,” the assistant told CNN. “He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there.”

The assistant says he told Spacey “I don’t think I’m ok with this”, at which point the actor became “visibly flustered” and fled the set for the remainder of the day.

He says the alleged incident happened months after he’d complained to his supervisor about Spacey’s behaviour. “The supervisor’s solution was never to let the production assistant be alone with Spacey when they were on set,” CNN reports.

“I have no doubt that this type of predatory behaviour was routine for him and that my experience was one of many and that Kevin had few if any qualms about exploiting his status and position,” the assistant told CNN.

“It was a toxic environment for young men who had to interact with him at all in the crew, cast, background actors.”

Another crew member told CNN that Spacey would routinely touch him, including massaging his shoulders from behind.

In a statement to CNN, Netflix said they had just been “made aware of one incident, five years ago, that we were informed was resolved swiftly”, and that they were “not aware of any other incidents involving Kevin Spacey on-set.”

They added: “We continue to collaborate with MRC [the show’s production company] and other production partners to maintain a safe and respectful working environment.”

The streaming giant suspended production on House of Cards earlier this week; they also announced its sixth season would be its last.

The accusations are the latest levelled at Spacey since Monday, when actor Anthony Rapp, 46, accused the star of making a “sexual advance” towards him when he was 14.

Since then, at least three men have accused Spacey of sexual harassment, ranging from the actor’s time in the New York theatre in the early ’80s to his stint as artistic director at London’s Old Vic from 2004 to 2015.

A representative for the actor said on Thursday that Spacey was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment” in the wake of the allegations.

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Captain’s knock in country opener

Captain’s knock in country opener TON: Newcastle captain Mark Littlewood (second from right) made a century in round one of the NSW Country Championships at Inverell on Friday. Picture: Heidi Gibson
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TweetFacebook NSW Country Championships – day 1Pictures by Heidi GibsonA captain’s knock from Mark Littlewood has put Newcastle on the front foot after the opening day of the NSW Country Championships in Inverell.

Littlewood made an unbeaten 116 from 124 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes along the way, in guiding Newcastle to a 59-run victory over Central North at Varley Oval on Friday.

Batting at No.3 the Belmont all-rounderput on a 142-run second-wicket stand with opener and Wallsend marquee Nathan Price, who struck 13 boundaries in his 87 from 100 deliveries.

“They both batted really well and set it up nicely for us,” Newcastle representative coach Shane Burley said.

Newcastle’s 50-over total of 8-274 eventually proved too much for Central North, who were restricted to 7-215 with Simon Norvill (55), former University batsman Aaron Mahony (52) and Hamilton-Wickham skipper Josh Trappel (42)the best in a beaten side.

Pat Darwen, named in the Australian Country XI last season, claimedtwo wickets for Newcastle while Central North’sLincoln Mills and Daniel Willis shared four between them.

“Our bowlers managed a lot of dots which helped us,” Burley said.“We picked up the bonus point as well, which is really important.”

Newcastle now meets first round losers North Coast in Saturday’s second round fixture at the same venue while Central North tackle Western at McCosker Park No.1.

Western (9-243) beat North Coast (134) on Friday.

Mace calls for change of bonus point set-up

SHOT: Charlestown captain Steve Mace out in the middle last weekend. Picture: Marina NeilCharlestown captain Steve Mace has called for a rethink of the bonus point system in one-day matches.
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The inaugural early-season, five-game, 40-over, pink-ball trial finished last weekend with Charlestown narrowly missing top spot in Pool B on quotient to Wests and consequently a Tom Locker Cup final berth.

Charlestown won four times to Wests’ three during the same period but the Rosellas collected six bonus pointsto the Magpies’ two.

Mace believes this anomaly on the Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade competition ladder needs to be addressed, especially considering the points allocated intwo-day matches which start on Saturday.

“The bonus points are too heavily weighted,” Mace said.

“If you play a two-day game over say 180 overs and have a close, hard-fought win after slogging your guts out for 12 hours you getsix points.

“In a one-day game most teams receive eight points for about 50 of 60 overs of work.

“It doesn’t seem right.”

Currently six points are allocated for a win and two for a loss in these limited overs fixtures.

Bonus points come into play, both added and deducted, depending on the severity of the result.

They are based on percentages of the first innings total–either chasing down in quick time or restricting an opposition in reply.

One if the job’s completed between60 and 80 percent and two if under 60 percent.

It meansteams can walk away with six, seven or eight points for a win and two, one or even nonefor a loss.

“It’s not necessarily the team that gets the bonus point has played really well, it’s more often than notthe team that lost it has played really poorly,” Mace said.

“I likethe bonus point because it creates a bit of interest and there’s no perfect system, but it shouldn’t be that way.Maybe one bonus point at about 65 percent. That waythere’s only one bonus point rather than two.”

Bonus point dramasaside, Charlestown sitin a three-way share of second position on the overall standings.

“You’d take that in any five-game period throughout the season let along the start,” Mace said.“It’s a good place to be and hopefully we can go on with it now the two-dayers are here.”

Charlestown host Belmont at Kahibah Oval.

Elsewhere in round six encounters winless Toronto are at home to Wests, ladder-leaders Merewether travel to meet last-placed Cardiff-Boolaroo, defending champions Hamilton-Wickham give up another home game to Wallsend, Waratah-Mayfield play Stockton-Raymond Terraceand University clash with Newcastle City.

Play starts at 11am.

Meanwhile, eight teams have entered the second season ofthe Newcastle-based Sixers Social Women’s Cricket competition which starts at Smith Park on Sunday (4:30pm-6pm).

Weeding out weaklings in pot stock sector

Australia’s cannabis companies may have exploded onto the ASX in recent years, generating bemused interest and bad media puns, but their struggle to crack overseas markets means their performance has been decidedly patchy.
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Since the federal government opened up the market for scientific and medical marijuana cultivation in February last year, at least 17 companies have popped up on the local exchange. The most recent was Cannpal, which hit the boards in October.

And despite the government legalising medicinal consumption, in November share price performance of the various “pot stocks” has been mixed.

The likes of Cann Group have done eye-wateringly well; the stock is up 200 per cent since listing at 30?? in May.

Both Zelda Therapeutics and Creso Pharma have also enjoyed solid investor attention, up 87 per cent and 138 per cent year-to-date respectively.

The sector has easily outperformed the Small Ordinaries Index, which is up 10 per cent so far this year.

But other marijuana plays are not riding the hype; Perth-based Chapmans is languishing below half a cent. Capital Mining, previously linked to Chapmans, has been stuck in a trading halt so has yet to outline how its cannabis foray is materialising.

“The volatility in the share price movements are indicative of this kind of fledgling industry,” says Matthijs Smith, senior life sciences analyst at Canaccord Genuity and recent author of a well-read report on the industry.

“They’ve been waxing and waning as attitudes are moving around, but overall people are beginning to cotton on that the most widely abused recreational drug is shifting towards genuine medical status.”

Licensing is still the most critical element in the industry, and while it’s fairly simple to get a medicinal or R&D licence from the Office of Drug Control, manufacturing entitlements are more difficult.

“The ODC is wary of any product disappearing,” says Mr Smith.

So far, eight licences have been issued for the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis, five for cultivation and production for research purposes and four to actually manufacture cannabis products.

The market’s heavyweights, AusCann and Cann Group, have both been granted manufacturing and medicinal licences, while the Hydroponics Company (with its memorable THC ticker) also has a research licence.

MMJ Phytotech, Medlab Clinical, and Creso Pharma have import licences.

“But it’s the lack of export capability that’s really holding these companies back; it’s the next step,” says Mr Smith, pointing out that growing a full plant only takes between three and four months.

“So Australian companies could very quickly serve a global market at scale and at high quality.”

The export infrastructure is already in place, says Mr Smith, given Australia already supplies half the world’s legal poppy feedstock for opioid manufacturing.

If the Australian market mimics that of the exploding North American one, Cannacord says the wholesale value of Australian cannabis could quickly become $400 million a year.

In the US and Canada about 1.2 per cent of people use cannabis for medical purposes, which would translate to around 300,000 people in Australia.

“The economic activity that will unfold from this industry is really rich,” says Mr Smith.”It just doesn’t exist today and there are investors everywhere slowly tuning into this potential.”

A global trend unfolding across markets in Europe and South America as well, medical cannabis is big business.

Just this week, global beverage company Constellation Brands acquired a 9.9 per cent stake – worth $US191 million – in Canopy Growth, the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company.

The premise of cannibanoid drinks has analysts around the world talking, however Australia is still yet to catch up to the edibles market.

“Once edibles infiltrate Australia, I expect we’ll see local companies go into overdrive,” says Mr Smith.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Suu Kyi visits Rakhine, reduces Rohingya crisis to a ‘quarrel’

Bangkok: Ten weeks after Myanmar’s army embarked on a ruthless crackdown that has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes, the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally visited the scene, telling people not to “quarrel”.
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From her helicopter, she would have been able to see scores of incinerated villages, but the military has insisted that Rohingya burnt their own villages as they fled. Burmese state media has accused them of fleeing to Bangladesh to tarnish Myanmar’s reputation.

“I hope everything will go fine as local villagers handle the rebuilding process,” Ms Suu Kyi told the residents of Pan Taw Pyin village, according to the New York Times. “We all have to try our best to live peacefully.”

The scolding from the Nobel laureate known as The Lady, came as powerful US lawmakers proposed targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on Myanmar military officers accused of orchestrating atrocities that human rights group say amount to crimes against humanity.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced he plans to visit Myanmar in mid-November when he is expected to intensify pressure on the military and Ms Suu Kyi’s government to end the violence and allow the Rohingya to return home.

“What’s most important to us is that the world can’t stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities that are being reported in the area,” Mr Tillerson said before announcing the trip.

The sanctions proposed by a bipartisan group of senators, including Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will intensify pressure on the Turnbull government to cut Australia’s military ties with Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said Australia is “deeply concerned” about the violence that has sparked a humanitarian emergency in refugee camps in Bangladesh but has refused to directly condemn either the military or Ms Suu Kyi’s government, which claims the military has been responding to attacks by Muslim insurgents.

Senator McCain said the “systematic human rights abuses” committed against Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State demanded a strong response from the international community.

“Our legislation would hold accountable the senior military officials responsible for the slaughter and displacement of innocent men, women and children in Burma [Myanmar], and make clear the United States will not stand for these atrocities,” Senator McCain said.

Democrat Senator Ben Cardin said “never again” is happening again in Myanmar under the watch of the international community.

“This bill will allow Congress to strengthen the President’s [Donald Trump] hand by making clear to Burmese officials that there will be consequences for their crimes against humanity,” Senator Cardin said.

Xenophobic and superstitious generals ruled the south-east Asia nation with an iron-fist for half a century before allowing economic and other reforms in 2011. But the military still wields enormous powers and controls much of the country’s businesses through crony-run corporations.

Ms Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy won a landslide election in 2015, has refused to publicly criticise the military, prompting widespread criticism and the withdrawal of some of her international awards.

During her visit to Rakhine on Thursday, Ms Suu Kyi met religious leaders in Maungdaw, one of the districts worst hit by the violence, according to Chris Lewa from the Arakan Project monitoring group.

“She only said three things to the people – they should live peacefully, the government is there to help them and they should not quarrel among each other,” Ms Lewa said.

– With agencies

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New NRMA chair named at first AGM held in Newcastle in a decade

Changeover: Outgoing NRMA chairman Kyle Loades with incoming NRMA chairman Tim Trumper. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNRMA has posted a record profit of more than $100 millionfor the 2016/17 financial year, members and shareholders were told at the motoring body’s annual general meeting on Friday.
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The AGM, which was held in Newcastle for the first time in a decade, was the last hurrahfor outgoing Hunter-based chairman Kyle Loades.

Mr Loades will step down on December 3after 12 years on the NRMA board –three as chairman.

His successor, Sydney-based Tim Trumper, was announced at the meeting.

“Tim is an outstanding individual,” Mr Loades told the AGM. “He has great vision of where this organisation is going.”

The meeting heard about the organisation’s focus on the future and its efforts to embrace electric vehicles and driverless cars.

Mr Loades said the key piece of feedback from members was the need for improved public transport.

“In Newcastle, we know you can complete every road but you still need public transport,” he said.

“The light rail will be outstanding here in the Hunter.

“In terms of the future, NRMA will continue to lobby for improvements to that light rail.

“We’d like to see it extended to many other suburbs, so you’ll be able to hop onto the light rail out in the suburbs, head into the city and not have to deal with any form of congestion or looking around for a park.

“It’s important that the NRMA isn’t just Sydney-centric, that we get around to regions.”

Mr Trumper’s background is in analytics, technology, the internet, financial services and media.

“I firmly believe the NRMA has a rare opportunity to deliver services to meet the individual needs of our members and customers around transport and tourism, and to continue to expand our legendary service beyond simply roadside assistance,” he said.

“Great change is coming in mobility over the next few years.

“I believe the NRMA must play a leadership role in bringing the community with us on the journey and ensuring they benefit from these changes.”